WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the United States and Iran (all times local):
A U.S. defense official says the deployments of an aircraft carrier strike group and land-based bombers to the Middle East are in response to indications that Iran and its proxy forces were preparing to possibly attack U.S. forces in the region.
The defense official tells The Associated Press that the Pentagon approved the deployments of the USS Abraham Lincoln and its strike group of ships and combat aircraft.
The official says U.S. forces at sea and on land were thought to be the potential targets. The official wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and requested anonymity.
Bolton’s reference to the Central Command area would mean the Lincoln is headed east to the Red Sea and perhaps then to the Arabian Sea or the Persian Gulf. The U.S. Navy currently has no aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.
Bolton’s statement suggests land-based bomber aircraft are being deployed somewhere in the region, perhaps on the Arabian Peninsula.
The White House says the U.S. is deploying additional military resources to send a message to Iran.
White House national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday that the U.S. is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region.” That area includes the Middle East.
Bolton says the move is in response to what he calls “a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.” He isn’t providing details, but says the U.S. wants to send a message that “unrelenting force” will meet any attack on U.S. interests or those of its allies.
He says the U.S. isn’t looking to go to war with Iran but that it’s fully prepared to respond to any attack.